“We wanted them to understand
that if they came in with drive and a
great attitude they can enter a trade
right out of school and then develop their career in a direction they
choose,” he said.
Larry Hoffer, WMIA president and
CEO, said the association’s members
are also involved in this effort.
“Many WMIA-member companies
View from education
pursue different avenues to solve the
skills shortage, such as partnering
with local VAs to find employees and
developing internships with schools
in their area,” Hoffer said. “(At this
event) the students had the chance to
better understand the diversity of the
woodworking industry, the differ-
ent machines and software used and
the philosophies behind them, and
they had the opportunity to talk with
professionals currently working in
the industry, to see what career paths
might be available to them and how
they might pursue them.”
One school participating in the event
was Woonsocket Area Career and Tech
Center. Charlie Myers teaches Architectural Construction Technology, and
has taught there for 21 years.
“We do not have any woodworking
programs anywhere with the Woonsocket Education system at any age or
level,” he said. “The wood shop classes
in the middle schools have also been
eliminated when the teachers retired.
The wood shop class in the high school
has also been chopped. There is no
longer any exposure to any trades until
a student goes on a tour in the ninth
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Students could also interact with a group of
industry companies and organizations at